Microscale Williamson glassware

Microscale Williamson glassware is a type of laboratory glassware used for organic chemistry experiments on a small scale. It was developed in the 1970s by Professor Kenneth Williamson and has since become popular for its ability to perform reactions with much smaller amounts of chemicals than traditional laboratory glassware.

Benefits of Microscale Williamson Glassware

One of the main benefits of Microscale Williamson glassware is its ability to reduce waste generated by experiments and be more cost-effective by using small quantities of reagents, typically in the range of 1-10 milligrams. The glassware also allows for reactions to be performed more quickly than with traditional glassware, as the small volumes of reagents heat up and cool down more quickly. Additionally, the small size of the glassware reduces the risk of contamination and allows for easier handling and manipulation of the reagents.

Components of Microscale Williamson Glassware

Microscale Williamson glassware consists of small reaction vessels, called microreaction vessels or microvials, that are made from borosilicate glass and have a capacity of 0.1-1.0 mL. These vessels can be sealed with a cap or septum and are often equipped with a stir bar for mixing. Microscale Williamson glassware also includes small glass tubes, called microburettes, that can be used to measure small volumes of liquids with high precision.

Connecting Microscale Williamson Glassware to Other Apparatus

Microscale Williamson glassware is designed to be used in conjunction with other microscale glassware components to construct reaction systems for organic chemistry experiments. The glassware components typically have standardized joints that allow for them to be connected together using adaptors or connectors. These joints may be threaded, have a Luer fitting, or have a standard taper joint size, depending on the specific glassware component. Microscale glassware may also be connected to macro-scale glassware using adaptors or connectors.

Measuring and Dispensing Reagents

Microburettes are used for accurate dispensing of small volumes of liquid, typically in the range of 0.01-1.0 mL. The small volumes of reagents used with Microscale Williamson glassware can be measured using analytical balances that are capable of weighing small masses with high precision.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Microscale Williamson glassware can be cleaned using standard laboratory cleaning procedures, including washing with detergent, rinsing with water, and drying with a clean cloth or air. However, because the glassware is small and fragile, it is important to handle it carefully to avoid breakage.

Safety Precautions

As with all laboratory glassware, it is important to follow proper safety procedures when using Microscale Williamson glassware. This includes wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses, and handling reagents with care to avoid spills or splashes.


While Microscale Williamson glassware has many benefits, it does have some limitations. The small size of the glassware can make it difficult to handle and can limit the types of experiments that can be performed. Additionally, the small volumes of reagents used with Microscale Williamson glassware can make it challenging to accurately measure and dispense the reagents.


The cost of Microscale Williamson glassware can vary depending on the specific glassware components and the manufacturer. However, because the glassware uses small quantities of reagents, it can be more cost-effective than traditional laboratory glassware in the long run.


There are several alternatives to Microscale Williamson glassware for performing organic chemistry experiments on a small scale. One alternative is microfluidic systems, which use microchannels to manipulate small volumes of liquids. Another alternative is flow chemistry, which involves continuous flow of re

agents through a reaction system to perform chemical reactions.


In conclusion, Microscale Williamson glassware is a useful tool for performing organic chemistry experiments on a small scale. It offers several benefits over traditional laboratory glassware, including reduced waste, quicker reaction times, and easier handling. However, it also has some limitations, such as difficulty in accurately measuring and dispensing reagents. Overall, Microscale Williamson glassware is a valuable addition to any organic chemistry laboratory and can provide unique insights into chemical reactions that cannot be achieved with traditional glassware.

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